As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 29 January 2015

This Rare Bird Is Worth More Than Ivory to Poachers

By John R. Platt |
January 27, 2015 4:40 PM

Helmeted Hornbill.jpgThe poaching of elephants and rhinos gets a lot of well-deserved media attention, but the widespread slaughter of another species is flying under the radar.

According to an undercover operation by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), poachers are increasingly targeting a rare bird called the helmeted hornbill. The beaks of these Southeast Asian birds are then carved into jewelry and trinkets and sold in China where they fetch prices five times higher than elephant ivory.

“The trade is definitely increasing, especially so in recent years,” said an EIA investigator who spoke anonymously out of fear for his safety. He reports that the quantity of helmeted hornbill products observed for sale “far exceeds published sightings of live helmeted hornbills in the wild.” All of the sales are illegal under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species and various national laws.

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